The body of an Australian soldier killed in the German 2nd line, photographed by Hauptmann Eckart, intelligence officer of the 6th Bavarian Division. Image: AWM A01566
Stammering scores of German machine-guns spluttered violently, drowning the noise of the cannonade. The air was thick with bullets, swishing in a flat, criss-crossed lattice of death … The bullets skimmed low, from knee to groin, riddling the tumbling bodies before they touched the ground. Hundreds were mown down in the flicker of an eyelid, like great rows of teeth knocked from a comb … Men were cut in two by streams of bullets [that] swept like whirling knives … It was the Charge of the Light Brigade once more, but more terrible, more hopeless – magnificent, but not war – a valley of death filled by somebody’s blunder.
– Private Jimmy Downing, 57th Battalion
I knew immediately this was how I wanted to go to war. I wanted to fly one of these aeroplanes, to get to grips with the enemy without all the sordid complications of war on the ground.
General William Bridges and his staff watching the manoeuvres of the 1st Australian Division in the desert in Egypt, March 1915. (AWM ART09425)
“Much as we may wish to make a new beginning, some part of us resists doing so as though we were making the first step toward disaster.” – Sir William Throsby Bridges (1861-1915)
By the evening of the 25th of April, Australian and New Zealand Divisions clung precariously onto the ridges and spurs around Gaba Tepe (ANZAC Cove.)
The hopes of the 1st A.I.F. of embarking on a grand adventure, and marching through the streets of Constantinople, fell apart shortly after the first waves of enthusiastic volunteers hit the beaches.
Schoolmaster, poet and linguist Patrick Pearce (Pádraig Anraí Mac Piarais) stood on the steps of the General Post Office in Dublin, on the 24th April 1916, and read out an impassioned plea and proclamation.
IRISHMEN AND IRISHWOMEN. In the name of God and the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us summons our children to her flag and strikes for her freedom..
As he did so strategic points around the city were occupied by the Irish volunteers, and the Irish Citizen Army led by James Connolly (Séamas Ó Conghaile).
Battle of Mont St. Quentin, Fred Leist 1918 (AGNSW)
Among the many residents encountered in the research for this latest exhibition – Faces in the Crowd – were some local official war artists including the Bulletin artists Henry Fullwood and Frederick Leist.
Fullwood lived in Mosman for a year in the late 19th century and Leist lived in Mosman from the 1920s.